London, Paris Mayors Criticize Bans on Burkini Swimsuits

by The Associated Press, August 25, 2016 

PARIS (AP) — The mayors of London and Paris are criticizing local French bans of body-covering burkini swimsuits, saying women should wear what they want to the beach.

Burkini bans in several French coastal towns this summer have prompted a debate in France and outrage among many people abroad.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the city's first Muslim mayor, said during a visit to Paris on Thursday, "I appreciate that there is a state of emergency in France." But he added "I don't think anybody should be telling women what they can or what they can't wear."

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for an end to burkini "hysteria," saying authorities should instead focus on improving social cohesion.

Proponents of the bans argue that burkinis represent the servitude of women and violate France's secular policies.


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